UK are parents to be given free 'baby boxes' in a groundbreaking new charity scheme
Would you let your newborn baby sleep in a box? It’s not as bizarre as it might initially sound. For the past 75 years in Finland, new parents have been presented with a box of newborn essentials that can also be used as a safe cot to sleep in. The boxes have even been credited with helping reduce infant mortality rates.
Newly introduced to Scotland, this idea is now coming to the UK, where free baby box sleeping cots will be given out to parents of newborns affected by poverty, provided free-of-charge in the Berkshire area by children’s charity First Days.
The charity First Days was set up by mum of two and blogger Emma, who identified a need to help families after the birth of her second child. They collect donated clothing, toys, equipment and furniture and work with childcare professionals to reach families who need support.
As well as the actual box – made of a durable cardboard and patterned with the First Days hot air balloon logo – the boxes will also include a firm foam mattress, bedding and essential items for the new baby, from baby clothes to nappies, made up of First Days donated items.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death, is the unexplained death of a child of less than one year of age. It usually occurs during sleep and it is thought the small size of the box prevents babies from rolling onto their tummies, which experts think can contribute to SIDS. The programme has apparently contributed to reducing the infant mortality rate in Finland, from 65 infant deaths per 1,000 births in 1938 to 2.26 per 1,000 births in 2015.
And thanks to First Days, the boxes will now offer a helping hand to parents and a safe sleeping space to newborns in need in the UK.
Find out more about First Days including how you can get involved, help and donate to the charity